Cochrane baseball sensation Simon Baker is in Florida right now as an invitee to Canada's U18 junior baseball team spring training camp.
The Cochrane High grade 11 student is one of 31 athletes who was invited to attend the spring camp from Apr.19 to 29 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The 11-day camp will take place at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and the surrounding complex, where the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals house their spring training and player development facilities.
After having competed in both the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup and WBSC Americas U-18 Baseball World Cup Qualifier in 2022, the Junior National Team program will be in a transition phase in 2023 with many new players, including Baker, getting their first experience in a Canadian uniform in West Palm Beach.
The camp includes daily workouts, inter-squad games, and six contests against prospect squads from the Astros and Nationals organizations in West Palm Beach, along with trips to Bradenton and Sarasota to face teams from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays organizations.
Joining Greg Hamilton, head coach and director of the men's national teams, on the coaching staff are former major league players Pete Orr and Chris Reitsma while Pierre-Luc Laforest and Russell Martin will attend as guest coaches. Former national team player Tim Smith and former pro Marc-Antoine Bérubé will also attend as guest coaches.
Baker is being heavily scouted, had an incredible 2022 season, and just keeps getting stronger.